Archy Marshall’s voice and appearance make for a good case of cognitive dissonance – he has the appearance of Rupert Grint (had he lived in the flats) and a gravelly voice too whiskey-soaked and adult to be his. This isn’t just yet another teenager (Archy isn’t even 20 yet) gifted with the vocal chops of a matured singer though, as King Krule he has the precociousness that doesn’t always often come with sounding adult.
We could tell that fleetingly from his EPs, and now at long last, he’s got a full album to dispel any incredulity such as that we just displayed in the opening sentence. 6 Feet Beneath the Moon doesn’t stray away from his self-titled EP or even his self-released U.F.O.W.A.V.E EP, when the then 16-year-old recorded his brand of reverb-drenched woozy jazz strumming (presumably on a defective guitar) over basic drum loops on a sh!t laptop.
Just take that last part off the equation – his XL debut has the polished veneer of a real working studio without omitting any of the raw, jagged emotionality of King Krule. It’s an easy transition for the kid. Even when the grown up illusion cracks under the pressure of clichéd lyrics (lead single ‘Easy, Easy’), that guttural, pained vocal chords of his hide it well.
But when the illusion holds up, like on the Chet Baker-inspired ballad ‘Baby Blue’? King Krule is transcendental in his romanticisation of the disillusioned and inebriated living in the sprawling urban mess that is London.
LISTEN TO: ‘Baby Blue’
IF YOU LIKE THIS YOU’LL DIG: Morrissey